The American Legion’s Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW) program distributed $181,769 in grants in 2020 that helped thousands of wounded veterans and their families through donations of rehabilitation equipment and comfort items, winter coats and clothing, food, TVs and more.
The following are a few examples of how OCW grants were able to assist others in 2020.
The American Legion Department of Indiana and Indianapolis Post 522 presented an OCW grant to the Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation worth more than $17,000 in winter gear (coats, hats, gloves and scarves), T-shirts and toiletries to help local homeless veterans during the cold months.
- Nine smart TVs were supplied to the Indiana Veterans Home in West Lafayette for its nearly 200 residents.
- A $42,000 OCW grant provided 166 43-inch Samsung smart televisions for the men and women to have in their individual rooms as they recover at the Warrior Transition Battalion Liberty Barracks at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
- An OCW grant of $18,000 provided 50 Apple iPads to the Minneapolis VA Health Care System to help connect inpatient veterans face-to-face virtually with their loved ones during this ongoing pandemic.
While on a mission in Afghanistan, U.S. Marine veteran Joshua Barton was thrown from the vehicle he was in, affecting his mobility and mental health. Both Barton and his chiropractic doctor felt that to regain fitness and strength through cardio equipment that had low impact on the spine and knee, an elliptical machine would be the best option. OCW provided an elliptical to the home of Barton in Spring, Texas.
Medically retired U.S. Army Sgt. Adam Menin applied for an OCW grant in hopes of receiving therapeutic recreation items to assist with his combat-related injuries, including post-traumatic stress. Menin’s request of architectural LEGOs, movies and video games was granted and presented to him inside his American Legion home of Post 64 in Sioux City, Iowa.
- An OCW grant of $6,675 provided 375 meals for veterans during the Alaska VA Healthcare’s first Veteran Appreciation Curbside BBQ event in Anchorage.
- The American Legion Department of Indiana presented Aaron Robinson with a $5,000 OCW grant to help cover the operating budget for his Greenhouse Garden Project as it continues to grow. The check will fund the greenhouse's operating costs for two years. The greenhouse at the VA Northern Indiana Health Care System is for Inpatient Psychiatric Unit veterans and other veterans with mobility issues to allow for patients to get outside and become more active by planting, growing and eating fresh tomatoes, peppers, green beans, squash, zucchini and cucumbers.
Every dollar donated to The American Legion Operation Comfort Warrior program goes toward the comfort items and services that help servicemembers in their recovery. Donate here.